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Talk of Iowa

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Ames, IA


Iowa PR


Talk of Iowa offers a mix of regular guests, newsmakers and interesting Iowans to talk about the arts, culture, humanities and lifestyle of our state.






2111 Grand Avenue, Suite 100 Des Moines, IA 50312 866 780 9100


Tips to Control Broadleaf Weed Sprawl

Growing season is nearing its end, but plants in the yard and garden remain busy nonetheless. Specifically, broadleaf weeds can pose a problem for homeowners during this time of year. Iowa State University professor of horticulture, Nick Christians, has some tips about controlling broadleaf weeds. "Don't go too early with your broadleaf weed controls," Christians says. "You don't have to be in a big hurry; a lot of people are, and they're out there in late August, early September. I...

Duration: 00:49:12

Childless by Choice

This show originally aired on March 4, 2016. Psychotherapist Jeanne Safer found the roots of her 1996 book, Beyond Motherhood: Choosing a Life Without Children, in her own life. “I became interested because I had to be interested. I really was struggling myself to make this decision. It took me five years to do it. I really worried about it, I thought about it, I didn’t talk to many people about it because I didn’t really know anybody who was going through it.” But once she started...

Duration: 00:48:59

North End Update Shares the Good News Happening in North Waterloo

Every Friday at 4PM, North End Update's live Facebook show shares good news about an area of Waterloo that normally is portrayed in a negative light. Upon tuning in, you hear their signature "Boomshakalaka!" Joshalyn “Rocki” Johnson and Cheryl “Chaveevah” Banks Ferguson are the duo behind the show. "We've been hearing a lot of bad things happening in Waterloo, specifically on the North End, so we wanted to promote good things and good things people are doing," Johnson says. "What I've known...

Duration: 00:17:43

Getting the Most Out of Your Late-Season Produce

With the changing leaves and the cooling temperatures, late season vegetables are ready for harvesting. Knowing when exactly to harvest specific vegetables is a problem for many people, but Iowa State University Extension specialist Linda Naeve has advice for those curious about winter squash. "Winter squash is interesting because it has a very firm skin, so when the fruit becomes full-sized, do the finger nail test. If you can't really penetrate the skin with force, it should be nice and...

Duration: 00:49:11

Crossings: A Doctor-Soldier's Story

Jon Kerstetter has experienced many "crossings" in his life — from a civilian doctor to a medical officer in the Army National Guard, and then, after a career-ending stroke, from a medical provider to a recovering patient. In this hour of Talk of Iowa, Jon Kerstetter talks with host Charity Nebbe about his life's transformations, detailed in his new book, Crossings: A Doctor-Soldier's Story. "All of the things we think about being human — the goodness, the love. . . when you go to war,...

Duration: 00:49:10

Holy Rover: Journeys in Search of Mystery, Miracles, and God

For her newest book, author and traveler Lori Erickson went in search of places where she felt something special. In her new memoir, she visits holy sites all over the world and says that Holy Rover: Journeys in Search of Mystery, Miracles, and God is similar to what "St. Augustine might have written if he was born a Lutheran in Iowa." During this hour of Talk of Iowa , she talks with Charity Nebbe about her travels. "Well, as holy sites, I define them really broadly. I feel that taking a...

Duration: 00:37:42

Bob Dorr and the Blue Band Rocking Iowa on Farewell Tour

Since 1981, Bob Dorr and the Blue Band have played about 100 gigs per year all around Iowa and the Midwest. Over their 30-plus year run, they have become one of Iowa's most celebrated bands, playing their beloved, self-described brand of blues/soul/rockabilly/reggae/Creole/rhythm music at festivals and venues across eastern Iowa, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Omaha, and Chicago. They have shared the stage with such icons as B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, and Bobby Rush. Band leader Bob...

Duration: 00:40:14

Celina Karp Biniaz: From Auschwitz to Des Moines

In a boxcar headed to Switzerland, 13-year-old Celina Karp — a "Schindler Jew" — was shocked to instead find herself at the Auschwitz concentration camp when the train's doors opened. Soon after, along with hundreds of other women, she was marched into a shower. "We were wondering, 'are we going to get gas, or are we going to get showers?' You can't imagine the relief, even though we were in Auschwitz, when the water came down." During this hour of Talk of Iowa , Celina Karp Biniaz talks...

Duration: 00:39:34

Painted Lady Butterfly Population Boom

Painted lady butterflies are having a really good year, according to Nathan Brockman, entomologist and curator of the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing at Reiman Gardens. Brockman conducts an annual survey of butterflies, and he's seen a lot of painted ladies recently. "Last year, one week we saw 12, one week we saw 21; but when we did our survey this week, we saw 747 individuals on the gardens' ground." On this horticulture day edition of Talk of Iowa , Charity Nebbe talks with Brockman, as...

Duration: 00:37:51

About to Have a Difficult Conversation? First Take a Deep Breath

Heated conversations—especially political ones can be unsatisfying and emotionally draining. In this Talk of Iowa , Charity Nebbe talks with the co-facilitators of a "difficult conversations" workshop organized by the University of Iowa School of Social Work. Guests are Alison Oliver and Jefri Pallermo from the University of Iowa, and North Liberty based consultant, coach, and speaker Heather Woody joins in for advice for workplace conversations. Oliver says that before embarking on a...

Duration: 00:39:35

Before Football Rivalry, Cy-Hawk Series was 'Hancher vs. Hilton'

The Iowa and Iowa State football rivalry as we know it today only dates back to 1977, but even during the years when the Cyclones never played the Hawkeyes, there was a rivalry between the two schools. And the sports rivalry may pale in comparison to a conflict when Virgil Hancher was the president of the University of Iowa and James Hilton was the President of Iowa State University. Matt Kuhns has written about those years in the new book Hancher vs. Hilton: Iowa’s Rival University...

Duration: 00:49:15

Fixing Your Late-Summer Patchy Lawn

It can be very frustrating when the picturesque, cloudless blue summer sky is undercut by a patchy, dead-looking lawn. In these last days of summer, it's common to assume that a discolored lawn is dead, but Iowa State University Extension Turfgrass Specialist Adam Thoms recommends inspecting the lawn more closely before assuming anything. "One of the great things to do is to actually get out and pull on the lawn, especially if the grass is still yellow looking. If it pulls right out in big...

Duration: 00:49:14

The Garden Benefits of the Praying Mantis

One of Iowa's largest and most recognizable insects is the Praying Mantis. Contrary to their predatory nature and creepy appearance, the Praying Mantis is actually beneficial to the garden, and according to Entomologist Donald Lewis, they can't really hurt you. "I was just checking to see how strong the grip was on the Praying Mantis' front legs, and got my fingertip into the jaw part of where the two pieces of the leg come together, and the spines actually broke the skin," Lewis says....

Duration: 00:48:21

Bruce Campbell Shares Stories of His Life as a B Movie Icon

Bruce Campbell has been producing and starring in films since the 1970s, and through work largely with low-budget horror films, he has carved out a niche for himself as an iconic B movie actor. His most recognized role is that of Ash in the Evil Dead film franchise, which has produced three films, six video games, numerous comic books, and a critically-acclaimed TV show on Starz entitled Ash vs. Evil Dead, which was renewed for a third season in 2016. He mentions how his horror movie The...

Duration: 00:49:13

"Last Time I Saw the Sun Was November 2007"

In under three years, Mike Glenn went from needing glasses to complete vision loss. In this Talk of Iowa segment, host Charity Nebbe talks with guests about conditions that can lead to adult vision loss or severe impairment. Glenn lost his vision to diabetic retinopathy. Nebbe also talks with Archie Rodin who has gradually been losing his sight to macular degeneration. University of Iowa ophthalmologist Dr. Jane Bailey talks about the different conditions that can cause vision loss and how...

Duration: 00:49:23

The Key to Influential Teaching: Be Like a Marigold Patch, Help Students Thrive

The 2017 Iowa Teacher of the Year, Shelley Vroegh, often cites an article written for new teachers that compares teachers to marigolds. She says that if you plant marigolds near vegetables, they are going to make those vegetables thrive. She adds that it's important for teachers to ask themselves what qualities are going to help other teachers thrive. The article also talks about how walnut trees are poisonous and you don't want to plant near them. "Unfortunately we do have some walnut...

Duration: 00:49:23

Exploring Technological Anxiety

Great advancements in technology certainly assist everyday life, but these advancements often inflict people with dread. On this edition of Talk of Iowa , Charity Nebbe speaks with two novelists, Benjamin Percy and Alissa Nutting, who reflect these anxieties in their work. "Right now, we don't understand how our technology works, despite how heavily we rely on it," says Percy. "You spend most of your day turning your face toward a screen, but you have no idea how your smart phone...

Duration: 00:49:13

Resisting Hate

The racial violence that occurred in Charlottesville last week has ignited an intense, nationwide discourse about race in America. Many people are unsure how to broach the subject of race, as well as the differences between free speech and hate speech. On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with Lecia Brooks, director of outreach for the Southern Poverty Law Center; Lakesia Johnson, Assistant Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Grinnell College and Associate Professor of...

Duration: 00:48:23

Maynard's 1956 Girls Championship Basketball Team's Story to be Made Into a Movie

Brian Borland knew that his dad was a phenomenal basketball player as he was growing up. What he didn't know was that his mom, Carolyn Nicholson, was an Iowa high school basketball superstar. "I was at my parents condo in 2006, and I heard them talking about going back to Des Moines for the 50th anniversary of Maynard winning the state championship in 1956. And I was like 'what state championship?'" he explains. "She said, 'well me and your aunt Glenda played basketball and we won a state...

Duration: 00:48:44

Iowa Veteran Talks About Being Trafficked as a Teenager

Amber Causey is a distinguished Army veteran with a master's degree in criminal justice and she is a mother. She's competing for Ms. Veteran America 2017 in October and is hoping to go to law school. She's also a survivor of human trafficking. She says after her mom was incarcerated when she was 13, a lot about her life changed. She moved in with her dad, who was abusive, and ended up running away from home and dropping out of high school. "I had my first suicide attempt at 13. I couldn’t...

Duration: 00:48:44

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